Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bejeweled Blitz - What's my motivation?

Spent another hour on the Facebook version of Bejeweled Blitz the other night, and I was trying to figure out why the heck I was dumping so much time into a 1 minute game.

At first, I thought it was a slot machine kind of phenomenon - keep playing and I'll hit the jackpot. Then I shifted it to video poker - "I feel like I have control over the situation, therefore I can win!"

The reality, the game is a race to get make a trigger happen. The player can utilize various strategies to make this trigger (pulling down the multipliers) but the random factor remains to continually kick you back down.

If you have not checked out Bejeweled from Popcap games, do give it a look if you enjoy casual play. It's a standard "match 3" game, and cascades are quite possible.

In the Blitz version, the player has one minute to score as high as possible. Swing out to Youtube and you will be able to find some fantastic high scores out there. The question I always wonder - how many times did you get a low score before putting up that high one?

Anyway, the trigger has two parts:
- Eliminate 12 or more gems to create a multiplier on the board;
- match the multiplier to make it take effect.

The first part of the trigger is the strategy portion. It's possible to get the board into a state to make the multiplier drop. But getting it to match can take a fair amount of luck.

And yes, this leads one back to the video poker syndrome - you believe you have control over a situation, when the reality is that you have no such thing.

This train of thought has allowed me to put Bejeweled Blitz to rest. Maybe it can help you, too....

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